With an established Hollywood writing and directing career and a busy family, Etan Cohen looked to create a space that served both as a creative home office and as a playful refuge for his wife and kids. Having written screenplays such as Tropic Thunder, Madagascar and Get Hard, Cohen’s comedic and approachable personality served as inspiration for the ATA design team. The project site was typical of a suburban lot in that it lacked views and natural light due to the closeness of neighbors. The solution was to configure the space as a loft-like modern treehouse with an inverted floorplan, positioning the primary living spaces on the top floor for maximum light exposure. This also opens up views to the famous Hollywood sign in the hills.

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The home is motivated by Mid-Century style, but also expresses a sense of California-cool.

White brick creates a solid base for second-story wood paneling.

Upon entry, one is greeted by an impressive three-story atrium, accented by steel-framed glass floors and topped with pitched roof ceilings.

A living tree is stationed on the ground level, sprouting up through the multi-tier stairwell.

The space is configured as a loft-like modern treehouse with an inverted floorplan, positioning the primary living spaces on the top floor for maximum light exposure.

The minimal kitchen features a breakfast bar.

An informal dining area sits just off the kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the second-story paired with wood-paneled walls make the room feel like it is up in the trees.

The formal dining area, also on the top level of the home, features Mid-Century furniture and lighting.

Translucent walkways keep an open concept feel. The client's art collection adds a playful touch.

Glass is a prominent material used throughout the residence, seen from the very top of the structure in the form of expansive skylights and layered all the way down through the various levels of walkways. Not only does this articulate volume, but it also allows the natural light to stream through all levels of the home.

The minimal master bedroom overlooks the back yard.

The second story sits slightly pulled back on all sides to make room for peripheral skylights, allowing natural light to permeate into the lower levels.

On the basement level is Cohen’s home office – which embraces the more industrial aesthetic of the surrounding building materials. The space is graced with natural light that trickles down through the home’s transparent layers, something unusual for a basement. Cohen is a collaborator and he wanted his space to support a communal and creative environment. A separate entrance allows people to come and go without disturbing the household. The walls are adorned with posters of the movies Cohen has accomplished throughout the years. The office also features a private screening room.

Exposed concrete in the office bathroom compliments the raw materials seen throughout the basement level.

The upstairs living spaces cascade outside onto a terrace, which perfectly looks East into the famous Hollywood sign up in the mountain.

Interior Design
  • Jim Bartsch


  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Midcentury
  • Year
  • 2013
  • Square Feet
  • 6000